By Online Desk
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court today freed Hadiya from her parents' custody and has appointed the Homeopathy college dean as her guardian in the Kerala 'love jihad' case. Hadiya will return to Kerala tomorrow.
The court has directed that Hadiya should be taken to college for her to finish her studies and that college should allow hostel facility to her. The next date of hearing has been fixed for third week of January.
The court has ordered for Hadiya be taken to Sivaraj Homoeopathic Medical College and Research Institute at Salem, Tamil Nadu to continue her studies, where the Dean of the college has to make all arrangements for her to complete her education.
The court also directed that she should be allowed to meet people as per the medical college hostel rules.
The court order came after the bench headed by Chief Justice of India, Dipak Mishra, also comprising Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice DY Chandrachud, interacted with her for about 25 minutes during which she expressed her desire to complete her house surgeon internship and pursuer her career as a homeopathic doctor.
The court further directed the Kerala government to ensure that she safely reaches her medical college in Salem in the custody of plainclothes police personnel.
"I want my freedom. I was in unlawful custody till now," Hadiya was quoted as saying in court by the TV media.
The National Investigating Agency (NIA) has submitted a 100-page probe report to the Apex Court.
Kapil Sibal appearing for Hadiya's husband Shafi Jahan, told the court that he was really saddened today, instead of asking Hadiya on what she wants, we are talking about the venom filled in news channels.
He further said that when Hadiya was here, the court should listen to her, not the NIA and that she is entitled to make decisions of her life.
Supreme Court Justice Khanwilkar was quoted by the TV media as saying, "Normally, we would have heard the girl and decided, but this is an unusual case."
The Chief Justice of India, Dipak Mishra further asked Hadiya if she wanted to continue her studies on state's expense to which she has told, "I want to but not on state's expense when my husband can take care of me".
On the other hand, the counsel for Hadiya's father said, material submitted by NIA should be looked into first, and only then should Hadiya be talked to. The counsel asserted that there's an operational apparatus existing for conversion.
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The 24-year-old has been in the headlines since she converted to Islam, and then married Shafin Jahan.
Hadiya's parents have been alleging that her marriage was a case of love jihad, or forceful conversion through marriage.
The Kerala High Court had nullified her marriage to Jahan and she was directed to be in the custody of her father. Later, Jahan had challenged the Kerala High Court order and sought recall of the court order asking the NIA to investigate the conversion of Hadiya to Islam and her marriage.
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Contrary to her parents' take, Hadiya, on Saturday, told reporters that her conversion was not by force.
"I was not forced to marry. Shafin Jahan is my husband. I should get justice. I am a Muslim. I want to be with my husband," she said.
Earlier, Hadiya's father’s lawyer had claimed that her mental stability was doubtful and said that her statement cannot be taken at face value.
In the last hearing, Hadiya's father was asked to produce her before the Supreme Court. The Highest Court had also asked the NIA to investigate the love Jihad angle to the case.
(With inputs from agencies)